It’s hard to recommend NASCAR 21: Ignition in its current form. A $60 price tag doesn’t feel justified for the lack of features in this package. There is hope, though, as the racing is still quite good, the graphics look stunning, and the overall fun of being on track is there. But as with every NASCAR release over the years, that can only take you so far. If there was ever a year to skip a NASCAR title, it’s this one. I do look forward to NASCAR 22 in the hope that Motorsport Games nails it. After seeing and feeling what they provided for racing this year, it’s obvious they have talent over there; it just needs to be a more complete package.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is up there as one of the best experiences I’ve had all year. I compare this to the excellent Marvel’s Spider-Man, and he’s my all-time favorite character! A title I hold in high regard. Don’t hold out for these heroes; you’ll want this one in your collection.
Pumpkin Jack is a fun little experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome. For 29.99, it’s not a bad deal and something the young ones in your family could easily enjoy in repeated sessions. The combat is fun, the puzzles are engaging, and the story has that charming storybook feel. If you enjoy 3D Platformers, this isn’t a bad one to give a download.
Overall, I had a blast with Gas Station Simulator. You get that feeling of running a gas station, especially early on when it’s just you rushing between the pumps and register. The mini-games peppered throughout the game don’t make running the place feel like work. Well, except for picking up the trash and cleaning. I maybe forgot to mention that part. I assigned my employee to do that anyway, so no skin off my back. That aside, the game hits its mark; it says what it is in the title. I feel this one is up there in the pantheon of its genre and if you were to ask me what good simulator games should you try? I’ll tell you: Car Mechanic, House Flipper, Power Washer, and now, Gas Station.
Delivering mail and driving around familiar streets helped set that relaxing tone. The unique interactions between Meredith and the other characters in Providence Oaks gave me the right motivation to play through and invest me in her tale. Lake isn't just a game about delivering mail; Lake is about reconnecting, and it was quite enjoyable to guide Meredith to a life she will enjoy.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania was a great dive into a franchise I haven’t touched since the GameCube. The gameplay felt tight, the challenges were challenging, and only a few times did the game ever give me controller smashing frustration. That said, there’s enough content here to keep a party of friends satiated, and a good onboarding system with the helper mode lets new players stick around for longer.
SkateBIRD offers a similar experience to other skating games out there. Even if it doesn’t compete technically with the likes of EA’s Skate or challenges the skill needed for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, I still found it fun to play. SkateBIRD won’t replace your preferred skating game, but I think it’s a good, relaxing experience to try out. Plus, you get to play with birds, and what isn’t there to love about that?
As I mentioned earlier, Cruis’n Blast is exactly what I want out of an arcade racer. It’s fun, it drives well, it’s over the top, and it’s arcade racing in its near-perfected form. The only way this could be better would be Raw Thrills shipping the arcade unit to dock your Switch in.
It’s hard to give a score to an idle game like this because many people come at these games from different perspectives. Me, I like to let the game take the reigns and slowly build up my empire, while others may want to be more engaged. If you’re looking at something that will keep your fingers twitching while earning, this won’t be for you. But for how I like to play idle games, Cookie Clicker is #1. Plus, after importing my web save into Steam, I sat there for 5 minutes watching achievements pop, and who doesn’t like that endorphin rush. Cookie Clicker is fun, peaceful, and respectful of your time. You don’t have to babysit this idler and can go at your own pace watching those precious numbers go up and up. Whether you like to manage every aspect and hit things right as they are available or like me, let the game chill while you watch YouTube, Cookie Clicker is tremendous fun. I’ve even baked cookies at home while having the game earn cookies for me; it feels kind of meta, doesn’t it?